Friday, August 6, 2010

Throw Another Log on the Fire

Growing up my parents heated their home with wood heat. I detested our family “bonding” times where we all piled in the truck venturing out into the wild blue yonder to cut wood. Dad would cut the wood while Mom and we kids lofted it into the truck. It never failed that either the chainsaw would malfunction or someone would make Dad mad somewhere along the way which set the tone for a lovely family afternoon in nature.

It was our job to carry in the wood every day after school and I got in more trouble over that than everything else combined. Let me remind you that the whole reason we had to use the wood was because it was cold outside, and I never have been much of a cold weather girl. For some reason I get really irate when someone who shares the same DNA as me drops a chunk of wood on my already frostbitten fingers. It never failed that we kids would get into a verbal boxing match, if not a physical one, over who was bringing in the wood. My sister, I won’t name which one (I’ll let the Holy Spirit do the convicting here;)!), always managed to find the smallest twig of wood in the entire stack to carry in. My brother and I would badger her telling her that she wasn’t carrying anything but kindling and that she better go back and get some more because we had to keep bringing wood in until that wood box was full.

Amazingly, and much to my parent’s daily despair, we conveniently suffered from amnesia each evening about this chore. Dad would stroll by the wood box surveying its contents while he muttered over his shoulder, “It’s gonna get awful cold around here tonight.” You might as well have told me we were having spinach and liver for supper. We would huff around, donning our coats and shoes and trek out to the shed, never happy about it, as we discussed how we were the most mistreated kids in the world.

I stumbled upon a verse, or shall I better state, a verse stuck its foot out and tripped me, so I must share it with you in case you find yourselves in the same situations as I often find myself in. No since in me having sore toes all by myself! While scanning through the Proverbs for a verse on none other than “wisdom”, I practically fell and scraped my spiritual knees on this verse causing me to take notice and inspect it in relation to my thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

Here goes:

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down.” Proverbs 26:20


I don’t know about you all, but I am often in situations whether from office politics, family politics, church politics, etc, where if I lived by this verse alone, the situation would improve as far as it depended on me.

Let’s tear this verse apart. If something is aflame – an ongoing argument, a difference of opinion, relational disputes, juicy gossip, policy changes, I can either throw a little log on the fire by adding my two cents worth, or I can refuse to go to the wood pile that night! I shouldn’t even bother to add my sister’s famous kindling. If I don’t add any wood, the fire can’t spread as fast. Where there is no wood the fire goes out.

Contention – who likes it? I don’t, but it seems to be everywhere these days. Differences of opinions over even the smallest things can brew the loudest contention in atmospheres of people. Sometimes you can feel it when you walk into a room and it makes people uncomfortable. There’s a solution for that in this scripture also. When something has happened, we tend think what are sharing is ok as long as we “whisper” it to the next person. Isn’t it ironic how something as quiet as a whisper can create such loud contention? Take out the whisperers and the contention will dissolve.

I think today would be one of those days where I would actually welcome Daddy’s famous quote,

“It’s gonna get awful cold around here tonight!”

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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